What the cast of Dawson's Creek looks like today

In 1998, the WB introduced viewers to Dawson's Creek, a prime time drama that followed the romances, tragedies and aspirations of a group of small town teenagers in fictional Capeside, Massachusetts, with incredibly good vocabularies. The show quickly ascended to insane levels of popularity, and by the time it ended in 2003, it had become iconic, and its fans are definitely arguing about who Joey should have ended up with, Pacey or Dawson. The young stars of the show began their careers on the Creek, and here's a peek of what's become of them, almost 20 years later.

Katie Holmes

Before she was picked to be Tom Cruise's next wife, started sounding hollow and strange in interviews, had a baby, and then made a run for it, Holmes played the earnest and ambitious Joey Potter, perpetually pulled in by Dawson's emotional tractor beam, for the entire duration of the show.

Between the end of Dawson's Creek, and Holmes' divorce from Cruise in 2012, she briefly attended Columbia University and starred in 2005's Batman Begins, as well as in a series of films, such as Thank You for Smoking, in which her performances were derided. Cruise and Holmes began dating in 2005, and married in 2006, after which Holmes took a hiatus from acting while pregnant with daughter Suri. When she returned in 2008, it was to star in the comedy flop Mad Money, in which she was again referred to as the "weakest link." She came back to television in 2009, in the remake of Don't Be Afraid of the Dark, played Jackie Kennedy in the TV miniseries (which she reprised in 2016's After Camelot), and appeared in Ray Donovan in 2015, before announcing that she would not be returning to the show in 2016.

Holmes, 38, is now living in New York City with Suri, 10, of whom she has full custody. She has been called "brilliant" in her strategy in divorcing Cruise, whom she allegedly feared would kidnap Suri and raise her in the Church of Scientology. Holmes has returned to films, such as Miss Meadows (2014), and Woman in Gold (2015), as well as directing — All We Had premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in April 2016, and her film on Olympic gymnast Nadia Comaneci aired on ESPN in in 2015. She announced plans to adapt Kathleen Tessaro's novel, Rare Objects, into a film, and also to direct it, and will be appearing in Coup D'Etat, opposite Michael Caine and Jason Biggs. Holmes has been linked to actor Jamie Foxx since October 2013, and the two were rumored to be married, and even expecting a baby. The actors' reps referred to such rumors in 2016 as "categorically untrue," but on April 13, 2017, the couple confirmed their relationship.

Joshua Jackson

At the center of Dawson's Creek's most important love triangle was the impulsive and charming Pacey Witter, played by Jackson for the entire duration of the show. With that credit under his belt, Jackson moved to London in 2003 to do a stint in the theater, before returning to the States to appear in Bobby, Emilio Estevez's film about the hours leading up to the assassination of Robert Kennedy. Jackson's role in the Canadian independent film, One Week, which he also produced, won him a Genie Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in 2010. Jackson ended a five-season run as Peter Bishop on Fox's sci-fi drama, Fringe, when the show wrapped in 2013. You can now catch Jackson on Showtime's The Affair, where he's once again involved in a love triangle, only this time, it's Dawson-free.

Recently, the end of Jackson's 10 year relationship with actor Diane Kruger garnered much attention. Kruger left Jackson in July 2016, possibly for actor Norman Reedus. On an episode of The Ellen Degeneres Show in December 2016, Jackson expressed some skepticism about utilizing Match.com in order to pursue future relationships.

Michelle Williams

From the moment Michelle Williams' character, Jen Lindley, arrived on the scene in Capeside in season 1, she was deemed the troublemaker, accidentally driving a wedge between Dawson and Joey (who were not even in a relationship at the time, but OK). Jen's death in the series finale may or may not have been an unfair end for her character, but Williams' career had only begun. After Dawson's Creek, she worked in a number of independent films before landing a role in Brokeback Mountain, for which she was nominated for an Academy Award, and wore this legendary dress to the ceremony.

Between 2001 and 2011, Williams made 25 films. She won a Toronto Film Critics Award for Best Actress for her performance in Wendy and Lucy in 2006, and continued to nab sought after roles in films such as Shutter Island, Mammoth, Meek's Cutoff, My Week With Marilyn, and Certain Women. In 2014, she performed in the Broadway revival of Cabaret, playing Sally Bowles. In 2016, she was again nominated for an Academy Award, for Best Supporting Actress, for Manchester by the Sea.

Williams met actor Heath Ledger on the set of Brokeback Mountain in 2004, and in 2005, she gave birth to their daughter, Matilda Rose, now 11. After Ledger's death in 2008, Williams retreated from the media spotlight and has been vigilant about protecting Matilda from encountering the press. Williams has been linked to actors Spike Jonze and Jason Segal, as well as writer Jonathan Safran-Foer. She and her daughter currently live in Brooklyn.

James Van Der Beek

In the title role of Dawson, James Van Der Beek spent six seasons playing one of the most emotional (and often loathed) dudes on television, perpetually tormented by his feelings for Joey, who ultimately chose Pacey in the series finale, leaving Dawson to work out his issues alone with his video camera. With the end of Dawson's Creek, Van Der Beek continued acting, sometimes taking roles that directly poked fun at his real life persona, such as the one on ABC's Don't Trust the B—- in Apartment 23, and others directly opposite to that of Dawson Leery, like the filmmaker he played on One Tree Hill, and his two episode arc on CBS's Criminal Minds in 2006, playing a serial killer with multiple personalities.

Van Der Beek won the Best Actor Award at the 2009 San Diego Film Festival for his role in the film Formosa Betrayed, and then moved on to roles in Mercy and CSI: Cyber. He also performed in Kesha's "Blow" video in 2011. In early 2017, Viceland announced that Van Der Beek would be producing, writing, and starring in the network's first scripted series, called What Would Diplo Do?

It seems like the now 40-year-old Van Der Beek, who is married and has four children, can never get very far from Dawson — he recently gave a pretty uncomfortable interview on the British talk show This Morning in which he discussed the show and its impact on his career.

Meredith Monroe

The fast talking, overachieving, vulnerable Andie McPhee, played by Monroe, who basically looks exactly the same now as she did then, left the Creek in season 4, and although she filmed scenes for the show's finale in 2003, they didn't air. After the show wrapped for good, Monroe joined the cast of CBS's Criminal Minds from 2005-2009, playing Haley Hotchner, the super patient and ultimately unlucky (spoiler: she gets murdered) wife of FBI Agent Aaron Hotchner (Thomas Gibson). Monroe reprised the role for one episode in 2013. In addition, she's worked basically everywhere — on Hart of Dixie, CSI, Private Practice, and on the Lifetime movie The Husband She Met Online. Monroe has been married since 1999 (Andie was married when she was dating Pacey!), and has two children.

Kerr Smith

Smith played Jack McPhee, Andie's brother, who briefly dated Joey before coming out and playing one of the first gay teens on TV. Jack and Ethan (Adam Kaufman)'s kiss in May 1998, at the end of season 3, was the first on prime time television.

Since the end of Dawson's Creek, Smith has appeared in the film Final Destination, as well as the TV shows Life Unexpected, NCIS, CSI, Charmed, and The Fosters, where he's been since 2014. Like some of his former Dawson's Creek co-stars, Smith has appeared on CBS's Criminal Minds, playing a husband and father with a fetish for severed limbs in the season 10 premiere. In addition to his other credits, Smith had the honor of appearing on MTV's Punk'd, in a prank involving a leaky water bed. He's currently a co-owner of the Venice Beach Beer Company.

Sasha Alexander

Gretchen Witter, Pacey's sister, played by Alexander, made her first appearance on Dawson's Creek in season 4, when she walked into the hardware store where Dawson worked, and then proceeded to make out with him for the rest of the season. After Gretchen went back to college, Alexander joined the cast of NCIS, until her character was killed off in 2005. Her most prominent role post-NCIS was on the TNT crime drama Rizzoli & Isles, alongside Angie Harmon (Jane Rizzoli). Alexander played medical examiner Isles, and throughout the show's seven season run, many fans hoped the two characters, who were best friends, would become a couple, but it never happened. Alexander directed an episode of the show during its final season, and won a People's Choice Award in 2016 for her role as Isles. She also had a recurring role on Shameless, playing a college professor in an open marriage.

Busy Phillipps

Phillipps made her first appearance on Dawson's Creek in season 5, as Joey's refreshingly quirky college roommate, Audrey Liddell. Audrey remained in the Capeside universe until the end of season 6.

An alum of the legendary but short-lived sitcom Freaks and Geeks, Phillipps had no problem continuing her acting career after her run on Dawson's Creek — she won a Critics' Choice Award in 2011 for her role as Laurie Keller on ABC's Cougar Town, and performed as a member of the WorkJuice players in The Thrilling Adventure Hour, a stage production in the style of 1940s radio, in Los Angeles. In 2017, Phillipps appeared as a judge on Food Network's Chopped Junior, as well as on an episode of the network's Star Plates. She recently signed on to Tina Fey's The Sackett Sisters, a comedy pilot for NBC, and currently stars on HBO's Vice Principals.

Phillipps is married to screenwriter Marc Silverstein, who included the couple's 2007 wedding vows in the 2012 film The Vow starring Channing Tatum and Rachel McAdams. Phillipps and Silverstein have two daughters, Cricket and Birdie. The actress has spoken of her deep and enduring friendship with Dawson's Creek alum Michelle Williams, and Phillipps' daughter, Birdie, is extremely close to Williams' daughter, Matilda.

In April 2017, Phillips and Silverstein took to Instagram stories to relay their harrowing tale of an Uber trip from hell.

Monica Keena

Keena appeared in season 2 of Dawson's Creek, playing Abby Morgan, Jen's rebellious friend, who was delightfully snarky and thoroughly uninterested in the drama of Dawson and his crew. Unfortunately, Morgan fell off a dock while drunk and met her end. In her post-Dawson's career, Keena was cast on Undeclared, Entourage, Private Practice, Beavis and Butthead, and Grey's Anatomy, Although Abby Morgan seems to be the role for which she's best known, Keena appeared in the 2014 film The Ghost and The Whale (with Tippy Hedren), and has been cast in Manson Girls, now in pre-production. Keena is in an off and on relationship with troubled former child-star Edward Furlong.

Mary-Margaret Humes

Humes played Dawson's mother, Gail Leery, a local news reporter engaged in an affair with a co-worker while her public displays of affection with husband Mitch (John Wesley Shipp) were notoriously repulsive to her son and his friends. Humes was a regular on the show for five seasons, and appeared briefly in season 6. When the show ended, Humes worked on The Ghost Whisperer, and Grey's Anatomy, as well as in several TV movies. Like a few of her Creek castmates, she also appeared on Criminal Minds, playing Audrey Henson, an abused wife who confessed to killing her husband, in season 3.

John Wesley Shipp

After succumbing to one of the most humiliating deaths in the history of television (bending over to retrieve ice cream from the floor of his car while driving), Shipp, who played Dawson's father, Mitch Leery, from the advent of the series in 1998 until 2001, returned to soap opera acting (playing Eddie Ford on One Life to Live), before he went back to being a superhero. Shipp had previously played Barry Allen in The Flash in 1990, and now plays Dr. Henry Allen, Barry's father, as well as Jay Garrick, on the current iteration of the show, now on the CW.

In October 2016, Shipp appeared in a scene on The Flash during which an episode of Dawson's Creek played in the background. The inclusion of the scene was purposeful; The Flash creator, writer and producer Greg Berlanti wrote on Dawson's Creek after Kevin Williamson left, but Shipp was not charmed by it. "I couldn't look at the screen," he said. "I mean, I played a character in that world that had nothing to do with the character I was playing, which was still such a new character in the diner that I was trying to get a handle on how to make him different than Henry, and I didn't even need to be dealing with Mitch Leery and juggling all three in that scene."

Mary Beth Peil

Peil played Evelyn Ryan, better known as Grams, Jen Lindley's religious and seemingly rigid grandmother, for 74 out of Dawson's Creek's 128 episodes (you might still be crying over her performance in the show's finale, when she tells a dying Jen that they'll be seeing each other soon). Peil, a trained opera singer and long-time veteran of the stage, appeared in the Broadway revival of Les Liaisons Dangereuses with Liev Schreiber in the fall of 2016, and will play Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna on Broadway in Anastasia, in 2017. Piel also played Jackie Florrick, Alicia (Julianna Margulies)'s mother-in-law, on CBS's The Good Wife. When asked if she's still recognized as Grams, Piel said, "If I wear my hair up and have no makeup on, depending on the demographics around—although it's amazing to me how many people in their 40s and 50s watch Dawson's Creek, either they're watching it now in reruns or they watched it with their kids—I'm liable to be spotted as Grams."